AKIBA has set a fervent pace since opening a few years ago in the Civic strip of Canberra. The volume is pumped up and so are the flavours as they career through a Japanese dance card from the raw bar, street food and ramen, through to salads and noodles, braises and grills, with a sharp turn via the dumpling cart.
It’s neon, it’s noisy, it’s fast and the bright service is quick with smiles.
Translucent slices of kingfish are spiced up with coconut, nahm jim, crunchy fried garlic slivers and a delicate flick of coriander microherbs. Go mod and dive into vegan laksa soup dumplings, or go retro with king prawn fried rice, packed with snake beans peeking out like emerald jewels under a chilli-dusted fried egg. The slow-cooked beef short rib seems to surrender under no more weight than a sharp stare into a darkly gleaming lake of tamarind caramel freshened up with chopped coriander.
PSST! Submit your dumpling idea to AKIBA’s dumpling of the year competition. The top 20 are wheeled out and voted for by diners, so yours could end up on the menu!